Saturday, September 16, 2023 @

Volume 2 Chapter 27 What I Must Do

 A dull pain coursed through Irial's entire body, and she realized her body was suspended in mid-air. She had lost all sense of direction, tossed about like withered leaves in a storm.

 However, Irial noticed something strange.

 (Am I... not dead?)

 A direct hit from that hail of magic bullets should have meant instant death. Not just her life, but every bit of her flesh should have vanished without a trace.

 Yet Irial was still alive, and she even retained her consciousness.

 She couldn't move a single finger, but if she lifted her eyelids just slightly, she could make out the faint night sky.

 "Wh... why..."

 "I also believed that traitors should die, desu~wa."

 Through her struggles, Irial's field of vision was infiltrated by Kanami's black shoes.

 With great effort, she managed to move her head and shift her gaze to see the girl kneeling before her. Up close, Irial realized something surprising; Kanami was younger than her, possibly around the same age as Yunea.

 Despite the immediate aftermath of the battle, she wore a calm expression, something almost kind about her face.

 "But not everyone thought that way. Some believe in extending a helping hand to those who can be saved and offering a chance to those who have strayed. Even if it means grabbing them by the arm and steering them back onto the right path."

 "...I would make the same choice over and over again."

 Irial squeezed the words out from the depths of her throat. It was the one shred of pride, or perhaps stubbornness, that still remained within her.

 For her sister's sake, Irial was willing to defy the world. That much was undeniable. As long as Yunea remained in the clutches of the demon, Irial would keep on fighting.

 There might have been an option to seek Kanami's assistance in saving her sister, but that was impossible. The reason being that a fragment of the demons had infiltrated Irial's body as well, to surveil all her actions and words.

 Hearing these words, which sounded like nothing more than a facade of strength, Kanami sighed.

 "Really, you're quite stubborn. Well, I suppose having such a clear conviction can be a good thing."

 In the midst of Irial contemplating what Kanami was getting at, the girl slowly lifted Alphaneil, which had been placed nearby. She pointed the barrel upward.

 What Kanami was tasked with by Yuusuke was not just restraining Irial; there was another objective.

 "My eyes are custom-made, desu~wa. They allow me to see the flow of magic power and distant scenes."


 "Which means that even while I'm here, I was also watching the demon and, simultaneously, the connections of magic power extending from them."

 "I... see."

 Irial's eyes widened in realization. Kanami was implying that anything connected by a magic power link could be traced and located.

 Naturally, all the fragments were linked by magic power connections. But no matter how independently they could act, severing those connections was impossible. Previously, they had been severed in the middle of the process, but now the main body itself was within the range of Clairvoyance.

 And Yuusuke had provided her with the time needed to locate all the fragments.

 So, there was only one thing left to do.

 "Let me complete my mission."

 She infused Alphaneil with magic power but not for raw firepower. She reconfigured the mechanisms inside while rearranging the spell structure.

 Long-distance shooting, tracking trajectory, target selection, acceleration, acceleration, acceleration—she incorporated all of these, allowing her to ensure that every observed target would be hit without fail.

 Shayka Eyes operated at full capacity, locking onto every target.

 The magic power infused into Alphaneil alone wasn't sufficient; she needed to pour all her own magic power into it. It was truly exhausting, and she felt like she could collapse at any moment. Still, Kanami refused to fall. She had bragged to Yuusuke that she could do it; she couldn't afford to show any weakness in front of her idol.

 Toughen up, show your mettle, remember why you endured years of grueling training.

 It was all to fight alongside that person, alongside those heroes (Eiyuu).


 In an instant, countless magic bullets were unleashed from Alphaneil.

 The bullets shot high into the sky, exploding and dispersing in all directions. It was reminiscent of fireworks but also akin to a towering tree reaching for the heavens. Hundreds of these bullets, now separated, became shooting stars that tore through the night sky, each heading towards its respective target. Perhaps the demon had a limit on the range of their magic, but fortunately, their fragments were numerous yet not widely distributed.

 In other words, Kanami's magic bullets would hit all the targets within seconds, without exception.

 One of those shots descended upon the fallen Irial.

 With a light thud, a slight shock pierced her chest, and she felt the evil presence that had nested within her body disappear.

 The fact that Irial's fragment had vanished meant that the fragment that should have been parasitically linked to Yunea had also been struck down.

 As if seeing through this, Kanami, who had fired the magic bullets, reassured her.

 "You can rest easy, desu~wa. These magic bullets were designed for speed. They should have hit almost all the targets at the moment they hit you."

 Irial couldn't utter a word and bit her lower lip.

 In other words, Yunea's parasitic entity had been struck down simultaneously. What Irial had wanted to do, but could never accomplish, Kanami had prepared for and achieved in the midst of their battle.

 Irial felt a mixture of gratitude, happiness, and frustration at the fact that the person she had been fighting against so desperately had been ahead of her all along.

 This realization seemed to emphasize the insignificance of her own abilities, and Irial clenched her molars.

 Nevertheless, Irial managed to speak.

 "Thank you, Kanami L√§ndtor Sith Fador. However, it won't be over until we defeat it. And that demon... is immortal."


 "...He can regenerate from any wound in an instant. The more you attack, the stronger he becomes... a monster."

 Irial recalled the first time she had fought against the Senai demon. At the time, that creature had appeared as a weak boy, and it had been hard to believe it was a demon at all.

 However, as the battle had unfolded, she had realized her misconception. He could instantly regenerate from any fatal wound, and his body continued to grow during the fight, to the point where even Irial's magic no longer affected him.

 As long as he lived, the same cycle would repeat itself.

 "No matter how strong that silver knight is... he can't defeat it."

 That was Irial's assessment. Certainly, the silver knight was powerful, but the demon was on a different level, beyond simple measures of strength.

 So, Kanami should go and protect the 'key' immediately.

 However, her thoughts failed to convey themselves, and Kanami simply sat down right there.

 "What are you...!"

 "I understand your concerns."

 Kanami replied, waving her hand. Irial's apprehensions were well-founded, especially since this judgment was based on direct combat.

 However, Kanami knew something under these circumstances.

 "Don't worry, desu~wa. If that person said he would fight, there's no way he will lose."

 "What... evidence do you have?"

 Evidence. Kanami was stumped when asked about it. The fact of being a Hero wasn't something she could casually reveal, but at the same time, there wasn't much else she could say.

 "If I were to say that I don't know anyone stronger than that person... would that answer your question?"

 Irial's face displayed a complex mix of emotions at this response.

 However, Kanami had already sighed heavily and relaxed. She had no intention of arguing further. Doing so would be pointless at this juncture.

 The task at hand was complete. Honestly, she was drained, her magic power empty, and her fatigue nearly unbearable.

 Normally, she might have considered offering assistance even without magic power. However, Kanami didn't feel a strong need to do so. Because there's Lisha. That alone was enough.

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